NEW YORK — With the onset of the war with Iraq and the inclement weather Thursday, retailers throughout the city saw a fall off in foot traffic.
The situation wasn’t helped by much-tighter security throughout the city, with checkpoints at bridge ramps and tunnels and police stationed on street corners and in subway stations.
"Our beauty week is in progress and while the first floor continues to be busy today, there is significantly less traffic on the upper floors. That’s likely due to world issues coupled with the weather working against us," said a Lord & Taylor spokeswoman.
At Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue store, the traffic Thursday was off, and observers said the store seemed quiet throughout all its floors. "However, people seem to be coming in looking for a distraction," said a spokeswoman for the store.
Stefani Greenfield, co-owner of the Scoop stores said that business was slow Thursday.
"It’s not only the climate in the world, it’s the climate in the city. It’s much slower than it has been in the last couple of weeks, but hopefully it’s weather-related too. It’s hard for people to take their attention off of what’s happening, but in the end we want there to be good business." — Anamaria Wilson
TOKYO — It was business as usual in Ginza, Omotesando, and other shopping centers here Thursday following the outbreak of war against Iraq. But retailers believe the war, if it’s a prolonged one, almost certainly will impact a business that already is struggling with the economic downturn.
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong and elsewhere in the Far East, there was more fear over the mysterious flu bug circulating than over any impact from the war in Iraq. Many Asian countries remain opposed to the war, with antiwar demonstrations taking place throughout Hong Kong.
But the dominant feeling in Japanese retail and other business circles at this juncture is that it is going to be a short war.
A spokesman for Mitsukoshi Ltd. said the turnout of shoppers at its department stores in Tokyo and elsewhere was no different from normal days. "Of course, I am talking only about today," the executive said.A similar comment came from a spokesman for Takashimaya Department Stores, who said there was no abnormality in the number of visitors to Takashimaya stores Thursday following news of war in Iraq. Final sales results are not in from all the stores, but I can say there was nothing unusual in today’s business," he said.
The restaurant on the second floor of Mitsukoshi’s Ginza store was full all day, while pedestrians and shoppers milled around the busy Ginza streets as usual.
If the war is a prolonged one, however, retailers said their businesses would be adversely affected by a possible decline in export trade, a chilling in consumers’ mood and a drop in personal consumption.
A top executive of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers’ Association has reportedly expressed strong concerns that the war, if it is prolonged beyond the one month that it took the Gulf War in 1991 to end, could seriously chill global market demand beyond immediate repair.
Another top industry leader, Kanji Shono, chairman of the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association, has reportedly stated that the U.S.-led war in Iraq may lead to a slowdown in the U.S. economy, growing uncertainties about the prospect for the global economy and soaring crude oil prices.
The Japanese government said it is taking a series of measures to ensure economic and financial stability against any possible confusion that may arise from war in Iraq. These measures include the establishment of a task force to ensure economic stability, securing oil supplies in cooperation with other nations, provision of sufficient liquidity by the Bank of Japan to banks, and allowing the Ministry of Finance to intervene in exchange markets if necessary. The action will also allow the Tokyo Stock Exchange to limit maximum daily price fluctuations if necessary.
Tokyo stocks moved higher Thursday for the third consecutive session on the general expectation that the war with Iraq will end quickly and decisively. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lifted 144.01 points, or 1.79 percent, to close at 8,195.05. It was the highest close since March 6.
The yen’s exchange rate weakened to 120 yen to the dollar at one time Thursday, down 1.81 yen from the previous day, on the expectation that a short war in Iraq will have little affect on the U.S. economy. This prompted investors to sell yens and buy dollars. — Tsukasa Furukawa, with contributions from Constance Haisma-Kwok, Hong Kong
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye